herald

Monday 11 December 2017

Campaigning mum Michelle (42) loses her courageous fight against cancer

Brave Dublin mum Michelle Fitzpatrick had hoped her determined battle against cervical cancer would allow her to see two of her daughters give birth this May.

Sadly, Michelle passed away last weekend, surrounded by her loving family.

In one of her last interviews, she revealed how she was hoping to live to meet the new arrivals.

"Rachel (21) and Amy (17) are having their first children in May and I'm trying my best to hang on for them. I'm frightened I won't be around for Amy because she's so young," Michelle said.

The 42-year-old first contacted the Herald in September last year to issue a public plea to Health Minister Mary Harney to give free vaccinations to young girls, such as her daughters, to help prevent them from contracting cervical cancer.

Her appeal was successful, which was a source of great delight for l Michelle.

But just two months after she went public, she was told that her cancer was terminal.

Michelle made the most of her last Christmas with her family -- partner Robbie and five children Rachel, Amy, John (15), Mia (10) and Gemma (2) .

"I'll have to keep my sickness to myself because the kids are so excited. You'd be worried that you wouldn't be around next year so I've got to make the most of it now," she said.

Michelle continued to put on a brave face for the sake of her children, despite the fact that she was experiencing great pain.

The family moved into a bigger house in Strokestown, Co Roscommon, since she needed a room of her own to make her more comfortable.

In January, following the minister's U-turn, Michelle told the Herald: "I'm delighted. At least now my girls will have it, even though it's not till they're in first year, but still it's a good year because it's well in time [to prevent the cancer]. I know my girls would never have been able to afford it for themselves and for their children, unless they won the lotto."

Two months ago, the minister announced that up to 30,000 girls in first year in secondary school will be offered the cervical cancer vaccine from later this year.

Michelle said: "I have pestered my doctor to send my children out letters for a smear test and swab tests, and check ups, and he says he will."

hnews@herald.ie

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